But a Ukrainian official on Wednesday questioned whether Moscow could be trusted and urged world leaders to instead focus on ending the war and strengthening sanctions. A senior U.K. official also rejected the idea of lifting sanctions, a potential early indication of where other Western governments might fall.
The Journal article indicted that, “State Department spokesman Ned Price said, ‘We certainly won’t lift our sanctions in response to empty promises, and we’ve heard empty promises before from the Russian Federation. Our nonfood sanctions will remain in place until Putin stops his brutal war.'”
MacDonald, Mauldin and Simmons explained that, “Elsewhere, Poland and Lithuania say they will make space available at seaports, while Warsaw has suggested sending trucks to help bring the wheat out of Ukraine. The European Union is looking at ways to streamline the movement of food across Ukraine’s borders. Kyiv itself wants to invest in new border posts and expand its roads to cope with the influx of grain cargoes.
“The current routes out of Ukraine, which mainly involve putting grain on trucks and trains to be sent to Romanian and Baltic ports, are sometimes subject to weeks of delays and border queues as long as 9 miles. The increased journey time is adding to the costs for Ukraine’s cash-strapped farmers and making grains even more expensive.”
And Reuters News reported today that, “British foreign minister Liz Truss accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of holding the world to ransom over food, responding to a question about whether she supported lifting sanctions in exchange for grain exports from Ukraine.”
Meanwhile, Bloomberg writer Natalia Drozdiak reported yesterday that, “The Netherlands would consider joining an alliance to send warships to escort grain supplies stuck in Ukrainian ports but would need assurances from Russia and, ideally, involvement from Turkey, according to the Dutch defense minister.
“Estonia and Lithuania have been calling to establish a coalition of the willing to send naval escorts for grain freighters, as European officials decry Russia’s effective blockade of Ukrainian ports that’s left Kyiv struggling to get grain shipments out.”
Ankara is in negotiations with Moscow and Kyiv to open a corridor via Turkey for grain exports from Ukraine, a senior Turkish official told Reuters on Thursday.
The Reuters article stated that, “Ukraine’s Black Sea ports have been blocked since Russia invaded in February and more than 20 million tonnes of grain are stuck in silos there. Russia and Ukraine account for nearly a third of global wheat supplies and the lack of exports from Ukraine is contributing to a growing global food crisis.
“‘Turkey is negotiating with both Russia and Ukraine for the export of grains from Ukraine,’ the official said, requesting anonymity.
“‘With a corridor to be opened from Turkey, there was a demand for this grain to reach their targeted markets. Negotiations are still ongoing,’ the person added.”
Still, Bloomberg writers Andrea Dudik and Rosalind Mathieson reported yesterday that, “Resuming Ukrainian grain shipments will be time consuming given challenges that include mine-clearing in Black Sea ports and the need for cooperation from the very country that kicked off the war, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said.”
“On nearly every continent, nations have put new restrictions and bans on products ranging from wheat, corn and edible oils to beans, lentils and sugar. Lebanon has even banned the export of ice cream and beer.
“The cascade of restrictions marks another setback for unfettered global trade, which has been dented in recent years by tariff and regulatory spats between the U.S. and China and moves by countries to safeguard supplies of medical equipment and vaccines during the coronavirus pandemic.”
Today’s Journal article added that, “For governments, limiting food exports is a way to soothe public anger over rising prices and beef up domestic supplies, particularly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine disrupted global food markets and raised prices for many commodities. Both countries are major exporters of grains and vegetable oils.
“Economists, though, say experience has shown that restrictions on food exports inevitably push global prices up further as importers buy what they can from reduced supplies. While governments may get a brief respite from surging prices, they are rarely significant or long lasting, usually because farmers respond by limiting production or switching to other crops that attract better prices at home and abroad.”
Keith Good is the social media manager for the farmdoc project at the University of Illinois. He has previously worked for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, and compiled the daily FarmPolicy.com News Summary from 2003-2015. He is a graduate of Purdue University (M.S.- Agricultural Economics), and Southern Illinois University School of Law.
Alan Rappeport reported in today's New York Times that, "As the United States and Europe contemplate their next rounds of sanctions to starve Russia of the revenue that is funding its war, there is growing concern that the fallout is…
Missy Ryan reported in Saturday's Washington Post that, "Top diplomats urged swift global action on Friday in the face of a mounting food crisis, as the war in Ukraine worsens conditions that have pushed millions of people into hunger."